What do you teach at Brooksfield School?
I am a teacher in one of the 3-6 classrooms and oversee the Kindergarten program.
What do you love about Brooksfield/ Why do you like teaching at Brooksfield?
What I love about Brooksfield is the close-knit staff who are all warm and supportive of one another. I enjoy working in an environment where we are encouraged to share ideas and explore new things. I also love being able to form close bonds with the children and families in my class, and the partnership that is established between the home and school environments to create the best experience for each child.
What motivated you to become a teacher at Brooksfield?
Coming from a very different Montessori teaching experience in a large, K-12, school, I was eager to work in an environment that had smaller community and a more “family”-like atmosphere, where faculty, staff, and families all knew one another. Brooksfield's emphasis on building community as a way of enriching each child’s experience - whether that is within each classroom, or in the school as a whole.
What sets Brooksfield apart from other Montessori schools?
Brooksfield values creating engaged citizens by making community service part of its curriculum. Even the youngest of people benefit from understanding how they fit into society and how they can help solve societal problems. Brooksfield students learn kindness, respect, and empathy by being involved in monthly community service projects. Hopefully students will fondly remember their service experiences from Brooksfield and continue to improve the world in the future.
What is a unique experience, talent, or interest you bring to your classroom to help shape the learning experience of your students?
As an Art History major at the University of Virginia, I was always eager to find a way to integrate my love and appreciation for art with early-childhood education. I love encouraging children to learn about artists and artistic movements, seeing them become comfortable talking about art and expressing opinions, and trying out various artistic styles and media. I also had the opportunity to live in a number of different countries while growing up and love bringing diverse, hands-on, cultural experiences into the classroom.
What do you want your students to gain from having known you?
I guess the most important thing I want my students to leave my class with is confidence and self-knowledge. I want them to know that they are all unique and talented individuals, who have the tools and abilities within themselves to accomplish anything they set out to accomplish. I want them to understand that, when faced with a challenge - be it social, academic, or personal - they are capable of figuring out a solution - or how to get to a solution. I want them to know how to seek help when they need it, and offer help when they can. I believe that children leaving my class and entering a new environment are best served by being able to approach new experiences with a calm, open-mind, and a strong sense of themselves and confidence in their individual qualities and what they have to offer.
Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself?
Growing up I had the opportunity to live in many varied places. We left Bloomington, Indiana when I was in 3rd grade so my father could take a sabbatical year in Bucharest, Romania (when it was still a communist country.) Later, I moved to DC to live with my mother and step-father, who worked for the State Department. We went on to live in Port-au-Prince, Haiti; St. Petersburg, Russia (then Leningrad, USSR,) Stockholm, Sweden; Strasbourg, France; and Riga, Latvia. I also spent time in both high school and college studying abroad - in Paris and Pau, France and Florence, Italy, respectively. I feel that my exposure to these many varied cultures and political systems (particularly as a child) played an important role in shaping my world view today.